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How to enable Nightstand Mode on your Apple Watch

With Watch OS 2, your Apple Watch now doubles as an alarm clock.

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After a slight delay, Apple released Watch OS 2 for the Apple Watch. The update introduces native apps from third-party developers that are supposed to be faster and more reliable than previous apps. Additionally you can now set custom watch faces using your own photos, draw with multiple colors using Digital Touch and use your Apple Watch as an alarm clock with a new Nightstand Mode.

In order to use the new feature, however, you'll first need to activate it. There are two methods for doing so, one on your iPhone, the other on the watch itself.

On your iPhone

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • Launch the Watch app.
  • Tap General.
  • Scroll down, then slide the switch next to Nightstand Mode to the On position.

On the Apple Watch

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET
  • Launch the Settings app.
  • Tap General.
  • Scroll down, tap Nightstand Mode.
  • Slide the switch to the On position.

Going forward, you simply need to place your Apple Watch on its side while connected to a charger for Nightstand Mode to become active.

Your watch will display the current time, date, next alarm and battery percentage. Tap the screen, or press either of the physical buttons on the watch in order to display the current time after the screen turns off. Shortly before your alarm goes off, Nightstand Mode will slowly brighten the display on the watch until your alarm goes off. Once it does, you can use either the digital crown or the side button to quiet or snooze the alarm.